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Author: Sean Keener

Mumbai (Bombay), India

Indian Subcontinent, Asia: Round-the-World Travel Destinations

Budget Scale: 1-5

1-least expensive; 5-most expensive
2– Mumbai is pretty inexpensive compared to large western cities, but it is one of the most expensive cities in India. But you can still get by on a pretty tight budget here.

Indie Travel Scale: 1-5

1-not a good Indie Travel destination; 5-a great Indie Travel destination
4– India is one of the biggest indie destinations in the world because there just isn’t anything like traveling in India. Mumbai can be overwhelming to first time visitors, but if you’re going to begin in a large city in India, better to do it here than in Delhi or Kolkata.
Indie Travel Tips
Follow these tips to have an indie travel experience while in Mumbai.

  • Strolling around Mumbai will give you a good feel and introduction to India. Just walk with an air of confidence and get used to saying “No!” or you will be busy fending off shop owners and touts.
  • If you want to get away from the near-constant harassment, take a stroll along Marine Drive along the water.
  • As a white westerner, you may be approached to be an extra in a Bollywood film. This is not a scam, and if you want a nice Indian cultural experience and have a day to waste, say yes.
  • While the beaches and water aren’t exactly good for swimming, if you want to hang out with a bunch of local Indians, head to a beach in Northwest Mumbai on a Sunday evening.
  • Don’t be afraid to eat at a street stall in Mumbai. You’ll get some of the best and cheapest Indian food around. Just make sure you eat at a crowded one with high turnover. Delhi belly exists in Mumbai, too.
  • There’s nothing quite like an Indian market, and they pop up on the streets all over the city. Have fun exploring and bargaining for cheap souvenirs to bring home.

Why you should add Mumbai to your RTW travel list

  • India is the true indie travel destination, and Mumbai is the perfect introduction to the madness that is India
  • Sitting on the Arabian sea is the home of the Indian film industry
  • Use it as your gateway to India and especially southern India
  • A day’s bus ride from Goa
  • Experience one of the fastest developing cities in India
  • Try to arrange your visit during one of the many festivals

Why you should not add to your RTW travel list

  • If you aren’t an experienced traveler, Mumbai and India can overwhelm. Hell, even if you are an experienced traveler, India can get the best of you.
  • Compared to the rest of India, Mumbai can be expensive, especially accommodations.
  • If you do add India to your RTW trip itinerary, don’t do it first or last. Somewhere in the middle when you are firmly in your travel groove would be ideal.

Are you heading to Mumbai? What do you need to do?

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